The honeymoon is over and the romance is fizzling out. You dreamed for years of letting go of your 9-5 and making yourself a boss. And alas, here you are- no one to answer to, no one giving you mandatory performance reviews, and….no consistent paycheck. You see your savings account shrinking but stay optimistic- you’ll get another client this week. Five no’s and an empty inbox later, you start to panic ever so slightly. That panic turns into dread, creative block, and anxiety about paying bills and staying afloat. Sound familiar? Have you been there? If so, you know that it’s quite the slippery slope and hard to shake the ensuing fear and tap into that stick-to-it-ness that keeps you keepin’ on.
How do you shake the funk? First of all, acknowledge that this sh*t is hard, and if it wasn’t, everyone would be chilling at home in their pj’s working for themselves. Most people don’t even have the guts to take the initial leap off the lifeboat, and you’re out in the ocean swimming. Well done! Remind yourself that you had the strength to begin and therefore, you have the strength to keep going. Your fear is healthy and therefore can be your friend instead of your foe. Afterall, fear’s job is to keep us safe. It’s role is to let us know that, Warning! You better do something fast so you don’t have to move back into your mom’s basement! That’s the modern version, anyway. The primal fear has definitely evolved since we humans are no longer members of the food chain. So yeah, the fear is feedback, and it’s okay. Breathe into it, and use it to create instead of to fall apart.
Mindfulness is becoming a movement in optimal business function, and surprise! It’s a major part of the yogic philosophy. When we can look at our fear and acknowledge it without hooking into it, we tap into creative intelligence within us via mindfulness. It’s this really incredible inner proclamation that occurs when you choose to move forward despite your fear, and it’s essentially because you’re choosing to believe in your power to create. You’re getting back to your intial “why” you chose this path, and you’re believing in a reason bigger than your bills. That, my fellow happy solopreneurs, is powerful. When you choose to work from a paradigm of vision and inspiration, you emit a conscious energy that makes people want to be close to you. So absolutely, first thing’s first, befriend your fear.
Next, refocus on the 24 hours in front of you. The slippery slope gets even more treacherous when we start projecting our worried minds into next month- how am I going to pay my mortgage? We completely lose focus on what we can do because we start worrying about what we won’t be able to do. And then your creativity and inspiration is just totally shot. Take a deep breath, scale it back, and choose to be present. What can you accomplish today? What can you knock off your task list and use to gain momentum? Of course savvy business owners have future projections, but they need to be set with flexibility. At any given time, you need to know that what you’re creating can change shapes and therefore, your future visions need to be malleable. See what happens when you shorten your sight to 24-hour segments instead of submitting to the anxiety of what will happen next.
If you’re still feeling stuck, then you may just really need a temporary break. You may need to unplug for a day- or an hour if a day seems way too long- and let yourself relax. Do something invigorating and fun, and maybe even connect with a friend who makes you laugh. There is no need to go over-the-top lavish, but you can if you want and have the means. I realize everyone has different budget constraints for their own personal time and ways to relax, so find something that’s feasible and works for you. Happiness breeds happiness, and you need to make sure you build it into your day-to-day schedule, especially when things get tough. If that looks like a hike and tacos for lunch, awesome. If it means you need to book a day at the spa, go for it. Whatever fills you up with happiness- plug into that for a little while, so you can in turn plug it back into your business. What’s in your cup is what you’ll serve to others- so make sure you fill it up with the best quality happy you can find. And keep on keepin’ on.